Police attitude on violence worrying

HARARE - As the much-anticipated 2018 national polls loom large, there is a feeling of deja vu among pro-democracy, opposition and rights groups.

This is especially so given the increase of violence by Zanu PF supporters who have historically benefitted from the lack of appetite by police to bring them to book.

Where police have made arrests, they included victims of these roughnecks who have perfected their art of meting their dastardly acts on opposition and pro-democracy groups going about their peaceful business.

As the 2018 elections approach, there is really palpable fear among well-meaning Zimbabweans — including those who rightly support political parties of their choice — that Zanu PF will resort to violence.

The barbaric attacks on supporters of the opposition Transform Zimbabwe (TZ) in Chitungwiza on Saturday served as a reminder to all and sundry that Zanu PF does not believe in alternative views.

These Zanu PF hoodlums descended on TZ supporters and severely mauled senior officials and passers-by in an orgy which left scores injured and several needing hospitalisation.

As reported by our sister publication, the Daily News On Sunday, yesterday, these Zanu PF yobs were incensed by a TZ clean-up exercise in the dormitory town which they claimed was out of bounds for the opposition.

And during these senseless attacks, the irony was lost on them that their own party had caused the rot and decay — including presiding over a collapsed public infrastructure such as sewer and water reticulation — which have turned Zimbabwe into a sorry state.

What is so disconcerting is that the incidents of violence are increasing as we approach the elections but without any intervention by police.

Last month, gun-toting thugs, suspected to be Zanu PF hoodlums, left for dead an opposition candidate and his agent in the Bikita West by-election.

National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) candidate Madock Chivasa, and his election agent Thomas Mudzamiri, were mauled by Zanu PF yobs as the two men were making their way out of a local supermarket where they had gone to buy some food.

The violence followed the savage attacks on supporters of Temba Mliswa in Norton last year where he stood as an independent candidate.

In September last year, Zanu PF youths also ran amok in Guruve, embarking on an orgy of political violence and bludgeoning four Zimbabwe People First (ZPF) bigwigs — including a retired senior military official and former diplomat —  before forcing a local school to close.

In the meantime, there has not been any single arrest.

Wither Zimbabwe!


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